Naming your baby should be a fun and exciting process! You’re bringing a beautiful baby into the world; you want his or her name to be absolutely perfect – reflecting the person you want them to grow up to be. But if you are struggling to choose a baby name, how do you pick a name you won’t regret?
When my husband and I were coming up with names for my daughter, I wanted something meaningful and he didn’t want anything “old fashioned.” We ended up settling on Emmie Kay.
Emmie was a name we loved and hadn’t heard of very often.
Kay was short for my sister’s name Kayla.
We found a way to compromise what we both wanted and choose a baby name that we both love.
Let’s talk about some tips on choosing a baby name even if you and your spouse, or your family isn’t seeing eye to eye.
Things to Consider While Naming Your Baby
There are many factors that people consider when choosing a baby name. Do you choose a family name? Are you doing to continue a naming tradition? Do you need to choose a baby girl name or a baby boy name? Will you be naming your child after someone? The questions are endless.
Naming your baby can in incredibly fun. You can get together with your partner and a friend and brainstorm baby names. Some great tips for coming up with name suggestions are:
- Think of names from your favorite movies or television shows. I named my son Sean-Christian after two doctors from my favorite show during my pregnancy with him. You can even visit your favorite books for name ideas!
- Think of what you called your baby during your pregnancy. Some women have nicknames for their babies during their pregnancy. You can use that name or a name that is closely related to it.
- Keep a “name journal.” Every time you hear a name that you like, jot it down into the journal. You may fall in love with the most random name or be able to get the perfect name variation from the list.
- Go classic! There are some names that are absolutely timeless. These names don’t have to be boring or cliché. You can spice them up with a modern middle name or a different spelling.
- Honor your culture or family. You can choose a name that reflects your culture, or you can look into your family tree and see if there are any names that stand out to you.
- Consider the name’s meaning. Some people choose their baby names because of the meaning behind the name.
- Say the name out loud. There is no better way to see if you will like a name than saying it out loud.
How to Avoid Naming Regrets
Normally, the most worrisome part of choosing your baby’s name is the possibility of regretting your name choice. To reduce the chance of regretting the name, you should always name your child what YOU want. Everyone will suggest names, and some family members will insist on bugging you with the names they love. However, the decision is up to you and your partner only.
The most common reasons that parents regret the names they chose for their children are:
- The name got too popular. Naming trends change, and there are times that you choose a name that is not used often that almost instantly turns popular.
- The parents felt pressured. You want to avoid being pressured or made to feel guilty about not wanting to name your baby what other people suggest. Remember – this is your child!
- The name doesn’t fit the child. As I mentioned before, my last minute name change worked out. I am definitely not a Kyra. But, for some people, the name they chose doesn’t fit their kid’s personality.
- Someone else you know chose the same name. This is always tragic. You choose a beautiful name for your baby and then someone else close to you chooses the same name. There are always middle names to differentiate!
- The name is too hard to pronounce and spell. Plenty of modern names are changed spellings of old names, and some emerging popular names are hard to pronounce. Make sure to find a happy middle ground when using unusual names or spellings.
- The name becomes famous or infamous. Sometimes, the name you chose for your child becomes the same name of an infamous criminal. Additionally, the name can be the same as a famous person which can cause the just as many annoying jokes as having the same name as an infamous person.
Some of these regrets are unavoidable. You cannot help if someone decides to name their child after your child or if someone is going to become infamous with the same name that you chose. On the other hand, some are avoidable. Always make sure you don’t name your child something that a family member insists on and choose a name with an easy pronunciation and spelling!
Revealing Your Baby’s Name
When you’re pregnant, it seems like everyone is in your business constantly. They want to know every detail. So much of your pregnancy is spent sharing with others that you may not want to share your baby’s name when you choose it.
Perhaps you want something just for you and your partner. And that’s completely okay.
You also may want to have a parade and yell your chosen name from mountaintops – and that’s okay, too!
Choosing how to tell your baby name is entirely up to you. You are allowed to keep the baby name a secret, and you’re allowed to post the name on Facebook as soon as you decide what it is. Sometimes, you can’t decide on a baby name. Some parents wait until the child is born and name the child then.
Considering the Family
One common issue that can arise with family when naming your baby is that you’ve chosen to name your child after a family member on one side of his or her family, and you are worried about how the other side will react.
There are a couple of ways you can handle this issue.
- Use the middle name as a compromise. Maybe you’ve chosen to name your child after his maternal grandfather. You can use his paternal grandfather’s name as a middle name. In fact, my brother was named like this – his first name is our paternal grandfather’s name and his middle name is our maternal grandfather’s name.
- Hyphenate the first name – or even the middle name. You can use multiple names with hyphen, connecting family names from both sides. This can be a way to include multiple family names when you are in a naming conundrum.
- If all else fails, tell the other side of the family that the name of your child is your decision – because that’s exactly what it is. Hurt feelings will fade over time, but your baby’s name will stay forever.
Another family issue that can come to light when naming a baby is when you want to break from a family naming tradition. You may not want your son to be a junior, and you may not want your daughter to have the family’s traditional middle name. It’s important to know that you owe no one an apology for your baby’s name.
Baby naming etiquette with family can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Most of the time, your family will come around and understand that your baby’s name is your choice.
Last Minute Considerations
There are a few other factors to consider when choosing your baby’s name.
- What will your baby’s initials be? Sometimes, the initials will surprise you once your baby is born. They may spell something that is unpleasant. Make sure to check the initials before deciding on a name.
- What will your child’s nickname be? You can decide before birth if your child will go by a nickname or his or her actual name. You should also consider nicknames that can be created by others for your child that may not be very nice.
- Does the name fit with the baby’s last name? Last names are already chosen, so the first and middle names have to be made to fit with the last name.
- Will you love the name forever? Just because the name sounds great to you today, it may not resonate with you in 5 years. Try to be sure that you love the name that you choose.
- Are you considering your partner? Some of us do have to choose baby names alone, but when you are partnered, you must consider your partner’s suggestions for names, too. Remember that you can compromise in order to make you both happy.
At the end of the day, naming your baby is solely up to you and your partner. Every other opinion is null and void. Choosing your baby’s name is intimate and personal. The name you choose for your child will forever be what he or she is referred to. My advice? Choose a lengthy name because it sounds much more threatening when they do something bad!
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